The Disneyland Hotel was the original hotel at the Disneyland Resort and in keeping with that is themed to the original lands of Disneyland Park and the history that has defined the Disneyland Resort. In this Disneyland Hotel review, I’ll provide a look at the rooms, pool, and other amenities. I’ll also compare the Disneyland Hotel against Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. Most importantly we’ll try to answer the question in this hotel review: Is the Disneyland Hotel worth it?
The Disneyland Hotel is just a monorail ride away from Disneyland and steps away from Disney California Adventure Park – all accessible through the Downtown Disney District. The Disneyland Hotel’s location, large pool complex, and hospitality make this hotel an excellent option for lodging when visiting Disneyland – if you are willing to pay the price!
The Disneyland Hotel is the original hotel near Disneyland and has been renovated a number of times including a wholesale rebuilding. We’ll share details on every aspect for you to decide if this hotel is the best choice for your stay near Disneyland.
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Disneyland Hotel Review 2024: Is the Disneyland Hotel Worth It?
The Disneyland Hotel is unrecognizable when compared to the original iteration of the hotel built in the days of Walt Disney (fun fact: Walt Disney actually had to ask television producer, Jack Wrather to build the hotel because Walt only had enough money to build Disneyland). Today, the Disneyland Hotel is a modern luxury hotel featuring nostalgic Disney touches. The hotel consists of three towers each themed to a different land of Disneyland Park: Adventure Tower, Fantasy Tower and Frontier Tower along with a pool area themed to the Disneyland Monorail and a couple of signature restaurants.
The Disneyland Hotel is quintessential Disneyland. The hotel leans into its own history and plays on our nostalgia for the resort without feeling forced. This is a great hotel for a first time visitor to Disneyland who wants to experience the history during an immersive Disneyland stay.
Read through our record of Disneyland Resort hotel discounts to see when discounts are available for this hotel as Disney will often release discounts for the Disneyland Hotel up to 25% off!
Disneyland Hotel’s Prime Location
While the Disneyland Hotel is on property at the Disneyland Resort it is not the closest hotel to Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park. That award goes to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa (read our review). In fact, some of the hotels just across Harbor Boulevard also beat out the Disneyland Hotel for closest to the main gate of the two theme parks.
With all of that said, the Disneyland Hotel is still one of the best hotels within walking distance of Disneyland and very close to both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Guests can also take the Monorail from just inside Downtown Disney to the Tomorrowland Monorail Station inside Disneyland Park. The Downtown Disney Monorail station entrance is just a couple hundred yards from the edge of the Disneyland Hotel.
Most importantly, the Disneyland Hotel will keep you within the Disney bubble. No need to cross streets or put up with any annoyances of the urban nature of Harbor Boulevard that can sometimes greet you just outside the Harbor Boulevard Disneyland gate. You can get out of your car and just be within the Disney magic the entire time.
After my last trip, I was a little shaken upon arriving at the Orange County Airport to fly home from Disneyland – there was no music when I stepped out of my Uber. I had been in the Disneyland bubble for a couple of days and besides my time in my room I was accompanied by the Disney Parks background score (great Youtube of the Disneyland Hotel background loop that I have listened to while writing this review here). This is a key aspect of the magic of the Disneyland Hotel.
Disneyland Hotel Room Tour & Review 2024
When you first enter your Disneyland Hotel room your first thought will likely be that the room feels comfortable and that clearly the furnishings are high quality. Only upon further glance will you begin to appreciate the level of Disney details added throughout.
In the carpet you’ll spot pixie dust. Turn on the lights in the bathroom and you’ll notice that Mickey hands are holding up the sconces. Go to the table to look at a Disneyland Hotel room service menu and you’ll be greeted with classic photos of Walt Disney. And, best of all, head to the light switch between the two beds and click the button with the fireworks and the entire headboard (with a carved Sleeping Beauty Castle you may almost not have noticed until this moment) will illuminate with fireworks as “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” plays – a perfect “Kiss Goodnight”. When the firework lights are on at night, they make a Hidden Mickey when they reflect on the black surface of the TV.
These touches define the Disneyland Hotel. You stay here because you want to be surrounded by the nostalgic Disneyland magic at all hours. Your kids will love the goodnight kiss illumination of the headboard and you’ll appreciate the comfortable bedding and down pillows.
Getting into the meat and potatoes, the rooms of the Disneyland Hotel have been updated with the latest in-room amenities that Disney offers. The beds were elevated to allow for luggage storage underneath and additional outlets were added throughout. We were never left wanting for a charger (of course with a bigger family you’ll still want to see our packing list for suggestions on charging equipment for the battery-sucking days at the park). A fun fact: the bed elevation idea actually came from Disney Cruise Line where all beds are elevated in cabins to make use of all available space.
Views from your room will vary based on which tower you end up in. In the Frontier Tower and Fantasy Tower you’ll either end up with a view into the pool area or out to one of the parking lots. In the Adventure Tower you’ll either receive a view towards the pool or out towards Downtown Disney. I have experienced all three of these views and they really don’t make or break the hotel experience save for a high up view room from the Frontier Tower where you’ll be able to see out to the Disneyland Fireworks.
Quick comparison to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel – the Disneyland Hotel rooms are much more Disney, but have almost all the same amenities. The only key difference is that almost all Disneyland Hotel rooms do not have balconies (roughly a dozen do) while the Grand Californian rooms do have balconies. View wise, the Grand Californian Hotel wins on any room that is facing anything beside the front of the hotel. There are more rooms at the Grand Californian with an interesting view than there are at the Disneyland Hotel. This may be why the Grand Californian has balconies and the Disneyland Hotel no longer does.
Disneyland Hotel Pools Review 2024
The Disneyland Hotel pool continues the trend of leaning into nostalgia. There are two pools at the hotel – the “E-Ticket” and “D-Ticket” pools – named in honor of the original Disneyland ticket per ride system. The walk down memory lane doesn’t stop there. The waterslide at the pools is designed to look like two of the original Disneyland Monorails.
Of course, I had to enjoy the waterslide during my latest trip and I had a blast. The Disneyland Hotel waterslides are super fun and there were plenty of families enjoying the pools during my recent trip.
The pools are four feet in all areas so there is no deep or shallow end to worry about. There are also two large Mickey and Minnie hot tubs. The pool area is quite large so even on the most crowded days you shouldn’t feel too cramped.
The only call out I will make about the current pool area at the hotel is that Disney is hard at work adding a new Disney Vacation Club tower to the Disneyland Hotel and so construction noise can be heard throughout the pool area on and off throughout the day. The noise is loudest near the waterslide pool and there are plenty of seating options further away from the construction.
Disneyland Hotel Dining
The Disneyland Hotel is home to a couple of solid dining/bar options and a favorite character meal (Goofy’s Kitchen). These are included in some of our favorite dining options at Disneyland.
In the center of the pool area you’ll find the Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar. When you step into this complex you’re transported to island time. Whether you are looking for a drink at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar or a great quick service option, these two provide a high quality experience and high quality food.
During my recent stay I had a couple of very good meals at Tangaroa Terrace. I had breakfast (the Avocado Toast – I asked for the Hollandaise on the side) and Lunch (the Poke Bowl which was surprisingly good and refreshing). I Disneyland Mobile Ordered the Poke Bowl and ordered the Avocado Toast in person. I never had a long wait and the Cast Members present were helpful with food recommendations for breakfast. The Tangaroa Terrace is comparable to the Craftsman Grill at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. I think that the Craftsman Grill edges out the Tangaroa Terrace, but these are still two of my favorite quick service restaurants across the Disneyland Resort.
The secret of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar has pretty much gotten out. The bar is made up of an indoor darkly lit themed tiki bar area (open for everyone up until 8:30 pm and then age 21+ after that) and an outdoor seating area surrounded by tiki torches. On nights throughout the summer you’ll find local musicians playing Hawaiian music. This really is a great place to watch the world go by. Locals and hotel guests alike enjoy this location. Be prepared that there may be a wait time when you attempt to get a table popular evenings.
In addition to Tangaroa Terrace for counter service, you’ll also find The Coffee House which offers light breakfast in the morning and soft service ice cream, coffee, and snacks throughout the day.
Goofy’s Kitchen is a fun character dining option that provides a full buffet with characters in their cooking best. While the food is not quite on par with Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast at Storyteller’s Cafe, the atmosphere and characters make this a great character breakfast to consider. The legendary food item here is the peanut butter and jelly pizza! For any peanut butter lover, this ranks as a must try. The restaurant serves an extended breakfast/brunch and a dinner.
Previously the Disneyland Hotel was also home to Steakhouse 55, but the steakhouse has not reopened since the hotel closed for COVID. We hope that a new upscale offering opens in that location soon. Even when we weren’t staying at the Disneyland Hotel, Steakhouse 55 was always a personal favorite. You can see all the current dining menus on the Disneyland Hotel website.
Returning Disneyland Resort Hotel Perks 2024
The Disneyland Hotel along with the other Disneyland Resort Hotels have seen a number of perks return including:
- Early Party Entry has returned! Guests will be able to enter either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure 30 minutes prior to the official park opening to experience select attractions, shopping, and dining. Read our full thoughts on the new Disneyland Early Entry and what will be included.
- Package Delivery has returned as well. Guests can have packages sent directly to the Disneyland Hotel from across the resort.
- Preferred Dining Access! Guests will soon have the option to access a limited number of reservations for top tier restaurants across the Disneyland Resort held specifically for them.
- Fitness Classes! Don’t miss the fitness classes held by the team at the Tenaya Stone Spa at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. I wrote all about my recent experience speed walking in Disney California Adventure and aqua yoga in a complete review of the Disneyland Resort hotel fitness classes. These have been recent highlights of my stays at the resort!
I am excited to see so many of these amenities return and for some for some of these to be offered for the first time. Read about all of the perks on the on property Disneyland Resort Hotels. These amenities really help to push me over the edge on a stay at the Disneyland Hotel.
Disneyland Hotel Review Pricing and Hotel Discounts
The Disneyland Hotel is often the second most expensive hotel in the area behind only Disney’s Grand California Hotel where you’ll often pay up to $150-$200 per night more). There are a couple of other new conference hotels that have recently opened (The Westin and JW Marriott, see details in our hotels ranking) that occasionally also edge the Disneyland Hotel out for most expensive but you get the idea. The Disneyland Hotel is a luxury location and the hotel can be quite expensive.
Check in Process Disneyland Hotel Review
Checking in to the Disneyland Hotel is quick and very easy! If you are driving in and arrive early, as we always do, Cast Members greet you at your car (if you drive all the way up to the front of the hotel).
The Disneyland Hotel check in process is very easy. When you arrive at the hotel, the luggage services will be ready to help you unload and store your luggage so you can check-in and get into the parks quickly. At the front desk, Cast Members move the line of guests through the check in process. Regardless of if your room is ready when you arrive you’ll receive your hotel keys. If your room is not ready you’ll just receive a text later with your room number when your room is ready.
You’ll also find souvenir shops in the lobby with a variety of items.
Disneyland Hotel Concierge Level Offering
The Disneyland Hotel has a concierge lounge that can be added on for an additional cost. Located in the Adventure Tower, the E-Ticket Lounge has food and drinks throughout the day. If you wanted to, you could have almost all of your meals at the lounge throughout the day. There are always bar bites and some hot food out at all hours.
During the evening, the E-Ticket Disneyland Hotel concierge lounge provides spectacular fireworks views. The lights are dimmed in the lounge and the soundtrack for the fireworks show is played.
Disneyland Hotel Review Final Thoughts
There are accommodations for all party types around the Disneyland Resort and we have stayed in almost all of them. We rank all of the hotels for any budget and debate the question of the value of staying on property at the Disneyland Resort in our guide. The Disneyland Hotel is in our top tier of hotels near Disneyland and our ranking only goes up if you take the money out of the equation.
To put it in simple terms. We would happily stay at the Disneyland Hotel and the Grand Californian Hotel every trip to Disneyland if we could because of the immersive nature of the hotels and easy comfort of visiting the parks. The price is prohibitive for this and we stay in almost every hotel around Disneyland so we can provide reviews for you! On the other hand, the Paradise Pier Hotel which is next door to the Disneyland Hotel is sometimes close in price to the Disneyland Hotel and as of this writing would always recommend spending more to get to the Disneyland Hotel or staying off property. The value for the money is not there for us right now. Disney is aware that that hotel needs an upgrade and the Paradise Pier Hotel is slated to become the Pixar Pier Hotel with full Pixar theming in the coming months.
It is difficult to summarize and say whether the Disneyland Hotel is “worth it” in this review of the Disneyland Hotel. Of course each group values money differently, but I will say that the Disneyland Hotel delivers on its promise of being the ultimate Disneyland hotel for your stay. Disneyland Park is the original Disney Park and the Disneyland Hotel is the original Disney-adjacent hotel. The hotel plays on guest nostalgia for the old days of Disneyland in 1955 and delivers a luxurious experience for Disney fans and soon to be Disney fans alike.
Note, while we have frequently stayed at the Disneyland Hotel on our own dime, we recently were hosted by Disney for a stay here to celebrate the return of The Main Street Electrical Parade, World of Color, and Fantasmic!.
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- Disneyland Clarion Hotel Review and How to Get Free Parking & Breakfast
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- Best Time to Visit Disneyland
- Flying to Disneyland – Which Airport to Fly into and How to Get to the Resort
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